Azimut #35334 155mm M12 update
What you get in a small box is a neat resin upgrade with an etched brass
fret and a decent instruction sheet which leaves nothing to be wondered about.
There's a complete replacement gun, in front and rear sections and with a new
breech, breechblock, levers and sight with its mount. All nicely done,
though my front barrel has a mould mismatch underneath which will need
filling and filing to get a true round section. I'm not certain how much use
these parts will be as they don't seem to offer much improvement over the
Academy equivalents and the opportunity has not been taken to provide a
correct breech interior with interrupted screw threads to match the breech
Under this goes a complete gun mount and barrel slide, and here there's a definite advantage to Azimut as the mount is bulkier and captures the appearance of the real one. On the debit side, the slide has a brute of a casting block all along its underside which will be a pain to remove cleanly enough to leave a smooth surface. A new front part for the lower fixed mount is provided, together with a replacement gunshield which looks rather good. Oddly enough, although the instruction sheet indicates etched brass handwheels there are none in the set.
Also included in resin are new guncrew seat backs and squabs, four shells, four charges without their transport tubes, and two drivers' vision port covers (my kit only included one). I can't see the advantage of those post covers, as they have no interior detail so you'll have to mock up their insides anyway.
The brass fret is nice, with the main needs covered. Grilles for the engine deck, headlamp guards, some tool brackets, and those vertical stiffeners that go on the engine deck. Also the rather important section of treadplate that covers the gap between the hull rear and the spade to stop the crew falling through the gap!
On the whole I think modellers will be better served by working on the Academy gun parts to improve them and using the Eduard etched set. But this upgrade does avoid the need to eliminate the long joints of the gun barrel, so if those are a bugbear for you and you don't want a "full" etched set this one will fill the bill.
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